6 May 2010

PNG Opposition admonishes Prime Minister over contempt for protestors

6:10 pm on 6 May 2010

A senior Opposition MP in Papua New Guinea says the Prime Minister Sir Michael Somare's attitude towards protestors who delivered a petition with 20-thousand signatures to parliament on Tuesday shows a dangerous level of contempt.

About five thousand people marched through Port Moresby calling for amendment legislation concerning the Ombudsman Commission to be dropped, the same day the Attorney General resigned after criticising the bill.

Bart Philemon says that reflects the strength of feeling against the proposed legislation, which he says his party only voted for at its second reading because it was misinformed by government.

He says Sir Michael needs to listen to the people of PNG.

"He treated them with contempt in the afternoon in his lecture on the floor of parliament so it's a real worrying sort of attitude expressed by the Prime Minister, something which is a fairly serious issue and there was a serious public outcry over it."

Bart Philemon says the Opposition is calling on Sir Michael to set up an independent committee to review the legislation before it's debated again in July.

Sir Michael declined to speak to Radio New Zealand International.